Digging in Deeper: Job 42:1-6

“Then Job replied to the Lord: I know that you can do anything and no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this who conceals my counsel with ignorance?’ Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wondrous for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak. When I question you, you will inform me.’ I had heard reports about you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I reject my words and am sorry for them; I am dust and ashes.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes when we are making breakfast in the morning we like to make scrambled eggs. And sometimes when we get the eggs out to crack, our 5-year-old happens to be in the kitchen. Do you know what he unfailingly requests in these moments? Can I crack the eggs? Now, don’t get me wrong: It’s cute that he wants to help. I definitely don’t want to discourage him from it. That’ll blow up in my face later. But by the time I’ve cleaned up gooey egg mess from the counter and the floor and spent five minutes chasing minute pieces of egg shell around the bowl before I scramble everything up to put them in the pan, there’s a small part of me thinking, “Thanks for nothing.” As I read the tail end of the book of Job here, I feel a bit like he’s got to be thinking the same thing about God.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

As I write this, my youngest son has strep throat. He threw up at school yesterday just before it was time to go home. We were able to get him in to see the doc before they closed for the weekend. He threw up again there. And again in the car on the way home. And again before bed. And he fought us to take his medicine. Oh, did he fight us. And then he got us up at 2:30 the following morning for the day. It was a miserable few days. If you are a parent, you likely know exactly what I’m describing. Our bodies are weak things. Some days it feels like they are falling apart faster than others. 

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 30:6

“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)‬‬

Nobody likes pain. Even fewer tragedy. They can strip us of our sense of control and leave us feeling totally vulnerable and helpless. We naturally seek to avoid these by almost any means we can. But, pain is a teacher. Tragedy an instructor. And for the soul that is lost and wandering aimlessly through this world, they can be a guide. Read the rest…

What If God Answered?

In this third part of our series, Grace in Hard Times, we finally get a look at what God had to say to Job and his friends after all their questions and assumptions about who He is and how He works.  The result feels hard at first until you look a bit closer.  What we learn is that God’s job in running the whole universe is a lot bigger than we think and that if we’ll let Him do it, He’ll do it well.  Keep reading to see how this unfolds.  Up next: A look at how we can keep the rhythm of our lives adjusted to the right beat.

 

What If God Answered?

Do you remember the worst lecture you ever got from your parents?  While I confess that I fall to it way more often than I should with my boys, my folks either weren’t much for lecturing or else I’ve forgotten all of them (which really isn’t very comforting news for all the wisdom parents depart to their children through the vehicle of a lecture…).  Still, though, there are times when as parents we need to impart a great deal of important information to our children in a rapid-fire fashion.  And, coincidentally or not, these times often happen in conjunction with something they’ve done that wasn’t perhaps totally on the up-and-up and when we are in a state of mild to extreme anger.  Now, if that happens to come across as a lecture, is that our fault?  Well…probably…but that much is not where I want to go this morning. I’ll come back to this idea in a second. Read the rest…

What to Do When the Wheels Fall Off

Evil is present everywhere in our world.  We can’t escape it.  We can only try and deal with the aftermath.  This fact has long seemed deeply at odds with the idea of a good and loving God.  The problem of evil is one of the thorniest challenges that has long seemed a roadblock to the Christian faith.  In this new series, Grace in Hard Times, with the help of the book of Job, we are going to examine through the context of this epic story one powerful answer to the problem.  In this first part of the conversation, we start with a bit of perspective.

 

What to Do When the Wheels Fall Off

A few years ago the news came out that Elizabeth Elliot had passed away at age 88.  Elliot had been serving the Lord in various capacities for nearly her entire life.  What she is perhaps best known for, though, is having been married for a short time to Jim Elliot.  Jim was every bit as dedicated a servant of the Lord as Elizabeth was, but his story did not end in the same way hers did.  In 1955, Jim and four other missionaries, including Nate Saint, were attempting to make contact with the Huaorani tribe deep in the jungles of Ecuador.  After making several initial peace offerings by lowering gifts in a bucket from their plane, the pair finally decided it was time to make personal contact with the tribe.  On the morning of January 3, 1956, they landed and met with some of the tribe members for the first time.  They were received with excitement and it was looking like things were going to go smoothly.  This road for the advance of the Gospel was appearing most promising.  But just five days later everything fell apart.  When the tribe warriors came out of the woods that morning to the Amazonian beach the missionaries were using as a landing strip and campsite, they did not come for peace.  They came to shut down this outsider intrusion into their private lives.  Nate, Jim, and the three other men with them were murdered in cold blood, speared to death by the Huaorani warriors.  They each left behind a wife and a total of 10 kids among them.  These five men had committed their lives to serving Jesus and advancing the Gospel regardless of the costs.  They were selflessly committed to this goal and yet this was their end. Read the rest…